What Are The Negative Effects Of Kombucha
Kombuchas probiotics can come with a downside. Thats because some brands of the drink are unpasteurized and thus, you may end up with a seriously upset stomach, says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. Or worse: Without pasteurization, you run the risk of harmful microorganisms taking over and causing serious problems, including food poisoning, says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.
But in order to reap kombuchas probiotic benefits, the drink likely needs to be unpasteurized. Pasteurization kills off both harmful and helpful bacteria, so any potential beneficial probiotics would be gone as well, Andrews explains.
Probiotics are a key part of a healthy diet, Neola says. And if you want to get them from kombucha, thats fine. But if youre going to drink the raw version, make sure to buy your kombucha from a reputable company, Gans says.
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Why We Need Probiotics
There are three reasons why wed need probiotics:
1. Poor diet
To have a variety of gut bacteria we need to have a varied diet. Unfortunately, our modern western diet is full of sugar and simple carbs. This diet choice is exactly what promotes the bad bacteria over the good.
After long periods of time, our bodies become accustomed to this diet and the healthy bacteria population dies off. Chronic constipation is one of many symptoms.
Once you reach this stage it can be difficult to introduce the healthy bacteria. Your best option is to eat a higher amount of vegetables and fruit while taking diatery supplements if needed. Ive always thought as kombucha as a stepping stone to a healthier lifestyle. I wont cure all your problems, but it can be the linch-pin you needed to begin your health transformation.
It doesnt help that many of us are chronically dehydrated. Drinking fluids is essential to preventing our bowel movements from becoming too hard to pass through our digestive tract easily.
In fact, dehydration is the most common cause of chronic constipation. Water keeps the food you eat moving and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible. If you dont drink enough fluids, your large intestine soaks up water from your food waste making it difficult to pass the stool.
Kombucha helps both on the dehydration front, as well as providing the probiotic enzymes that help breakdown your stool into manageable sizes
How To Reduce Kombucha Side Effects: Strategies To Consider
If youre experiencing unwanted side effects from kombucha, there may be some ways in which you can mitigate them. Possible ways to mitigate side effects of kombucha include: reducing total intake, supplementing, consuming with food, switch to a different brand of kombucha, and/or gradually titrate your intake upwards. Prior to implementing any of these mitigation strategies , verify safety and speculative efficacy with a medical professional. Effectiveness of these mitigation strategies will likely be subject to individual variation.
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May Boost Cardiovascular Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , heart disease increases the risk of stroke or heart attack, but healthy lifestyle changes can improve your cardiovascular health.
This includes following a healthy diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. You should also incorporate exercise, medication, and yes, even kombucha.
The potential benefit is in kombuchas possible ability to positively influence cholesterol levels, according to the Journal of Chemistry research. High cholesterol is one factor for heart disease, notes the CDC.
Researchers need to conduct more human studies to confirm the effectiveness of kombucha on cholesterol.
But according to a study published in April 2015 in Pharmaceutical Biology, rats administered kombucha showed lower levels of LDL cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL cholesterol). More research is needed, but future studies could similarly reveal that kombucha improves cholesterol levels in humans. Only time will tell.
A Final Word On Kombucha Benefits
Theres limited research confirming the health benefits of kombucha. But the drink has increased in popularity, with many people using it to improve their gut health and relieve other conditions, like depression, constipation, and inflammation.
Although it is popular, kombucha isnt for everyone. If youre pregnant, take medication, or have an existing medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure kombucha is safe for you.
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Dangerous For Certain People
While kombucha is safe for most people, it can cause severe side effects in some.
Because kombucha is unpasteurized and contains a mix of different types of bacteria and yeasts, it can promote the growth of opportunistic bacteria that can lead to infections in certain people.
For instance, those who have weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer, kidney disease or HIV, can develop serious complications from drinking kombucha .
Although rare, there have been reported cases of severe allergic reactions, acidosis and liver complications due to potentially contaminated kombucha consumption .
Since kombucha is unpasteurized and contains small amounts of caffeine and alcohol, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it as well (
Summary Those with compromised immune systems and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid drinking kombucha.
Where Can You Get Kombucha
Kombucha, which can be found on the shelves of nearly every health food store, comes in delicious flavor combinations such as ginger, lemon and blackberry. With the increasing popularity of kombucha, a 500ml bottle can set you back $7-$8.
A less expensive way to drink kombucha regularly is by making your own at home. You can easily make your own brew by obtaining a SCOBY. SCOBYs arent typically sold in natural food stores , but most health stores have resources for local fermentation groups that sell the cultures.
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Overdoing It With Your Kombucha Habit May Lead To Headaches
Headaches are another possible adverse side effect of drinking too much kombucha. The exact cause of a headache is unknown, but kombucha does contain caffeine and alcohol, which alone or together might induce headaches in those who are sensitive.
Caffeine is sometimes used as a headache reliever. But while an effective treatment, repeated exposure to caffeine can have the opposite effect, triggering chronic daily headaches, past research has noted.
Its All In The Probiotics
For illustration purposes, I like to think of kombucha as half bacteria and half yeast. The balance between the two is what makes kombucha so special.
This balance is also what makes kombucha so healthy. The yeast provides food for the bacteria to grow and the bacteria produce healthy acids that both taste great and improve our health.
Not only are the acids healthy for us, the bacteria themselves also plays a crucial role in our health.
With the modern western diet, it can be a struggle to eat in a way that promotes a balanced gut bacteria population. Recent medical research has shown how integral a healthy supply of gut fauna is to our overall health. It has wide ranging impacts on our energy levels, immune system, as well as digestion.
Its no surprise then to discover that a diverse population of gut bacteria directly impact that quality and frequency of our bowel movements. Luckily for us, kombucha is packed full of naturally occurring gut bacteria. In a similar way to yogurt kombucha helps restore the balance and promote the natural healthy bacteria that thrive in our digestive system.
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Can Kombucha Help You Banish The Bloat
Bloating is an extremely common and uncomfortable condition in which the stomach feels swollen and sore, and often occurs after eating. Bloating is usually a sign of excess wind, constipation, food intolerances or digestive issues, but it can also be a telltale sign of a bacteria imbalance in the gut!
Does Kombucha Make You Poop
Struggling to keep a regular schedule? Wondering if kombucha can help keep things moving? Youre not alone. One study found that 27% of the population experiences constipation on a regular basis. While some of these cases are caused by other chronic conditions, and some by medication, most of them come down to what you eat.
This is why lots of people are asking: can kombucha make you poop?
While kombucha itself doesnt contain fiber, it does contain healthy bacteria Probiotics are bacteria that occur naturally within the gastrointestinal tract . Having the right bacteria in the GI tract can help break down stool into more manageable sizes. So while kombucha doesnt directly cure the constipation, it does help bring things back into balance helping you poop easier.
So, if youre experience constipation, taking a daily dose of kombucha over a period of time may help relieve some of the symptoms.
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Why Kombucha Is Amazing
Bacteria and yeasts in kombucha work to eradicate most sugars from the tea, transforming the liquid into a fizzy, semi-tart, delicious drink.
Kombucha is high in Vitamin Bprotecting the pancreas and liver.
Its also rich in enzymes that help detoxify the body, high in glucosamine that lubricates joints and prevents arthritis, and is packed with probioticshelping to aid digestion and ensure gut health.
Hannah Krum of Kombucha Kamp shares in her new book, The Big Book of Kombucha:
Kombucha is often referred to as a gateway food, because this one health-promoting choice can lead to a whole host of others, bringing balance to body, diet and lifestyle. With regular consumption, kombucha can be part of deep, positive changes in all aspects of life.We are living in a bacterial world, and I am a bacterial girl!
So Just How Much Kombucha Should You Drink
Too much of anything is bad for you, of course. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that four ounces of kombucha can be safely consumed one to three times a day.
That means you shouldnt consume more than 12 ounces of kombucha a day, says Smith, who points out that the average bottle of commercially prepared kombucha exceeds a daily, single serving at 16 ounces.
We just dont have a lot of research identifying optimal quantities, or even benefits and risks of many probiotic foods, she notes.
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If Kombucha And Your Gut Get Along Great
And you troll the refrigerated aisles of your natural food store looking for new kombucha flavors to try,
But you would rather be hyper diligent about what goes into the food you consume ,
Plus, you love the idea of turning your kitchen into your very own DIY probiotic factory,
Then it might just be time for you to check out how to make your own kombucha inside my Fermented Foods 101 course.
What has your personal experience with kombucha been? Comment below and let me know.
Overfermented Kombucha Has Been Tied To Lead Poisoning
Be mindful that over fermentation during the preparation process may lead to severe lead poisoning under certain brewing conditions.
The risk of poisoning is greater when kombucha is home-brewed in a clay vessel or ceramic pot containing high levels of lead. The lead can leach or dissolve into the beverage, causing a buildup of lead in the body. In fact, past research showed at least one incident of lead poisoning linked to a lead-glazed earthenware jug used to store kombucha tea.
Symptoms of lead poisoning include high blood pressure, headache, abdominal pain, mood disorders, difficulty concentrating, and muscle pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Not only do some ceramic pots contain lead, but so do some china and porcelain containers.
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Does Kombucha Help With Bloating
Can kombucha help you banish the bloat? Bloating is an extremely common and uncomfortable condition in which the stomach feels swollen and sore, and often occurs after eating. Bloating is usually a sign of excess wind, constipation, food intolerances or digestive issues, but it can also be a telltale sign of a bacteria imbalance in
How Much Kombucha Should You Drink
Since kombucha is a health drink, its considered safe to consume daily . However, its always best to check in with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before adding any new health food to your diet, as some prescription medications can negatively interact with certain foods.
In addition to kombucha, you can also consume other fermented foods such as apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, coconut milk yogurt, coconut milk kefir, and kimchi to add extra probiotics in your diet.
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Variables That Influence Kombucha Side Effects
If you have read my article about kombucha health benefits, you may remember that you should not drink more than 12 ounces of kombucha per day. Logically, if you exceed the recommended amount, you may experience some side effects. Also some people dont feel well when drink kombucha on an empty stomach.
To make kombucha can be very tricky as well, especially if you dont have much experience with making fermented drinks. If kombucha gets too fermented, it can give you serious health problems. So, if you are not sure how to make it, you should buy it at the supermarket. Again, kombucha beverages in the stores can have different ingredients or different amount of one ingredient. For instance, one kombucha may have more alcohol or sugar than the other.
The same way you get jittery because of too much coffee, green tea, or sugar you can feel that when drinking too much kombucha. And the most important, if you have certain health conditions or you take medications you need to check out with your doctor whether you should drink kombucha or not.
In the meantime, you can check this ultimate list of kombucha side effects with detailed explanations when they can occur.
Can Kombucha Cause Constipation And Bloating
I already mentioned to you that when you drink kombucha new good bacteria interact with old good bacteria in your stomach. If your stomach accepts those good bacteria you will experience a lot of benefits such as better digestion, but if your old bacteria fight with the new ones, you may experience quite the opposite- bloating and constipation. To avoid such problems you should drink plenty of water and exercise on a regular basis. If you can tolerate these side effects of kombucha, constipation and bloating, you should feel better after a few days of drinking kombucha when your stomach gets used to it.
Kombucha is a lightly carbonated drink because of the yeast and fermentation. Similar to other carbonated drinks, you may feel bloated after you drink kombucha because these types of drinks deliver carbon dioxide into your digestive system.
For the same reason as bloating, flatulence can occur. Kombucha is a carbonated drink so you may feel discomfort in your stomach and have the urge to fart. If you want to stop the farting you should exercise more and hydrate well.
Another side effect of carbonated drinks- you may feel that your stomach is gurgling, leaving weird noises. This can happen when you drink too much carbonated drinks at once, plus if you drink kombucha on an empty stomach. Gurgling stomach is connected to the flatulence, constipation or diarrhea and other similar GI distress.
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Kombucha For Ibs: Digestive Health Benefits
Kombucha has been shown to help reduce digestive symptoms, improve digestion, prevent bacterial infections and alleviate discomfort caused by IBS. According to the Journal of Chemistry, kombucha can also act as a laxative to help get slow bowels moving along, which can help those of you suffering from constipation. Many studies have also shown that kombucha has antimicrobial properties, which means it will prevent the growth of certain harmful bacterias in our body. This is because kombucha is acidic which helps to create unfriendly conditions for the growth of harmful bacteria. These properties are more enhanced when the product is made from green tea instead of black because it will contain more acid and catechins, which are the antioxidants found in green tea. Another reason why kombucha is great for overall health is because is also contains glucuronic which is produced from the fermentation process. Glucuronic acid has been known to bind with toxins that come into the body and then help to get rid of them.
Wondering what else affects symptoms of IBS like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation? Youve got to understand more about the FODMAPs, poorly digested sugars that are the most common triggers in digestive issues. Download my free eBook to get a copy emailed to you right away.
Kombucha: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Side Effects
Whenever drinking kombucha, it is important to reflect upon whether the benefits resulting from its consumption outweigh any side effects or reactions that it may provoke. A majority of kombucha consumers will report minimal and/or zero side effects, possibly with subjective benefits. If you derive some sort of benefit from the drink and dont experience any side effects, it makes logical sense to continue your rate of consumption.
On the other hand, if youre among the subset of individuals who struggle to tolerate kombucha, youll probably want to cut kombucha out of your diet altogether. The intolerability issue may be related to sensitivity to histamine or a comorbid medical condition. In addition to those who benefit from the drink and those who find it intolerable , another portion of drinkers may experience some benefit from its consumption along with side effects.
In this case, it is up to the consumer to evaluate whether the side effects are tolerable enough to justify the attained benefit. It is also likely that a subset of kombucha drinkers will experience zero benefit, but might enjoy the drink and be able to tolerate it reasonably well. If you find the drink enjoyable and dont struggle with serious GI distress after each serving, continued consumption on an irregular basis may be an alright strategy.
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